Showing posts with label ENDA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ENDA. Show all posts

July 11, 2014

ENDA is Been poison to Allow Religious Exceptions, it Most Die



                                                 

What the hell will be the point of ENDA if there are religious exemptions?

Several major gay rights groups withdrew their support for the Senate’s Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Tuesday on account of sweeping religious exemptions included in the bill, which currently “allows religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center announced in a joint statement that they will not be supporting the bill until the exemption is taken off the table.
The religious exemption has been there since the beginning, and was pretty much just put there to get Republicans to vote for it in order to get it passed. It originally was meant to only apply to actual religious organizations and non-profits, but given SCOTUS’s Hobby Lobby decision last week will now likely end up having to include “closely-held corporations” that feel like discriminating for Jesus as well. Which, given that this includes just about 90% of all corporations, means that ENDA as it stands will solve exactly zero problems– other than that of elected officials hoping for brownie points from LGBT groups for doing pretty much nothing significant.
Now, obviously, something does need to be done. There are still 33 states where you can legally be fired for your sexual preference or gender identity. That is just beyond messed up. But we just can’t settle for an Employment Non-Discrimination act with such a huge loophole. We have to go big or go home here, because if it passes with these exemptions, it will take even more years to undo them.
Let’s be real here. There is not, as far as I know, a particularly huge problem with atheists and agnostics discriminating against LGBT people on a wide and collective scale. Are there some? Sure, probably, there are assholes everywhere and in every group. But it’s not like, a thing. By and large, the problem here is religious people. So having a “religious exemption” like Hobby Lobby’s exemption from covering birth control means that ENDA will accomplish pretty much nothing. It would pretty much be like if we had passed the Civil Rights Act, but thrown in an exemption for KKK members.
Well, actually, it would have been like we included a “religious exemption” in the Civil Rights Act, or, indeed, any other law, in the history of our country designed to protect people from discrimination. People used the Bible to defend slavery, to defend women not voting or working, to defend Jim Crow, to defend pretty much every instance of discrimination, oppression and bigotry in the history of our country. In other countries, they use the Koran and other religious texts to do the same. In fact, there are scant few instances of people going around asserting their right to discriminate against people without some religion to back them up. Every time– “I hate you, and I’ve got Jesus standing behind me saying he hates you too. SO THERE.”
It’s incredibly weird to me that discriminating against people is even up for discussion in the first place. It tells me that people, for some reason, cannot tell the difference between their churches and their homes and their place of work. The difference between public and private. Different things are appropriate for different venues, which is a thing we all should have learned back in charm school. For instance, while it is appropriate to relieve oneself in a bathroom stall, it is not an appropriate thing to do at the dinner table, or in a pew at someone else’s church.
It is not appropriate to discriminate against people in the public sphere for the a very similar reason. We all have to exist in this world together, which means we all must compromise to some degree. Otherwise, we’d all just be walking blobs of id roaming around the world destroying all in our wake. And that would be unpleasant for all of us. The entire point of having manners is to make other people feel comfortable and at ease–and that often comes at a slight sacrifice of our own comfort and ease. Sure, you may feel the urge to discriminate against LGBT people, or to take random craps anywhere you choose, but if you must do that, you must do it in the comfort of your own home, and without involving other people.
ENDA must be passed–like any other bill geared towards protecting the rights of American citizens–without any idiot “religious exemptions.” Otherwise, it is merely an exercise in futility.

July 9, 2014

In view of the Supremes ruling Gay rights groups are pulling out of ENDA


                                                                      
                                                                       

Several LGBT groups are putting pressure on President Obama not to include broad religious exemptions in an executive order he plans to sign protecting LGBT employees from discrimination by federal contractors. And one major LGBT group has pulled support for an employment protection bill making its way through Congress as long as it includes broad religious exemptions.
The actions come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 30 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, the result of which allowed for-profit corporations to be exempt from a law if it violates their religious beliefs. The ruling has caused anxiety for LGBT groups, as it could lead to widespread discrimination against the LGBT community.
The Equality Federation, a national advocacy organization that supports state-based LGBT advocacy organizations, sent a letter to President Obama today calling on him not to include broad religious exemptions in his executive order protecting LGBT employees from discrimination by federal contractors.
“We ask you to make a clear statement that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is no different from the other classes protected by federal law by ensuring that the executive order not contain any exemption beyond what is provided by the Constitution and Title VII,” the letter states.
Georgia Equality is on board with the Equality Federation, as they stated in a Facebook post earlier this afternoon. 
Georgia Equality has joined with other statewide LGBT advocacy organizations to send a strong message to President Obama: an executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors should not contain any religious exemption beyond what is provided by the Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Federation Members Tell President Obama: No Broad Religious Exemption in Executive Order |...
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision in Hobby Lobby, LGBT advocates working across the country are deeply concerned about what will happen next, especially as the President’s staff prepares an executive order protecting LGBT people from discrimination by federal contractors. Som…
EQUALITYFEDERATION.ORG

And in a major announcement today, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force is withdrawing their support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act over the—you guessed it—religious exemption currently included in the bill.
“The morning after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, we all woke up in a changed and intensified landscape of broad religious exemptions being used as an excuse to discriminate. We are deeply concerned that ENDA’s broad exemption will be used as a similar license to discriminate across the country. We are concerned that these types of legal loopholes could negatively impact other issues affecting LGBT people and their families including marriage, access to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention and access to other reproductive health services. As one of the lead advocates on this bill for 20 years, we do not take this move lightly but we do take it unequivocally – we now oppose this version of ENDA because of its too-broad religious exemption. We cannot be complicit in writing such exemptions into federal law,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund.
The Senate approved ENDA with bipartisan support last November, but House Republicans say they will not take up the bill unless there are broad religious exemptions.
UPDATE: Five national legal groups have also announced they are withdrawing support of ENDA.  The American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center issued a joint statement this afternoon, saying in part:
ENDA’s discriminatory provision, unprecedented in federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, could provide religiously affiliated organizations – including hospitals, nursing homes and universities – a blank check to engage in workplace discrimination against LGBT people.  The provision essentially says that anti-LGBT discrimination is different – more acceptable and legitimate – than discrimination against individuals based on their race or sex.  If ENDA were to pass and be signed into law with this provision, the most important federal law for the LGBT community in American history would leave too many jobs, and too many LGBT workers, without protection.  Moreover, it actually might lessen non-discrimination protections now provided for LGBT people by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and very likely would generate confusion rather than clarity in federal law.  Finally, such a discrimination provision in federal law likely would invite states and municipalities to follow the unequal federal lead.  All of this is unacceptable.

November 8, 2013

Anti Discrimination Bill Vs.Gay&Transgender’s Passes Senate




A bill banning workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people has passed the US Senate with significant cross-party support.
The Senate voted 64-32 to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, with 10 Republicans voting in favour.
President Barack Obama, a Democrat, called the bill an "important step" to "help end injustice".
But its future in the Republican-led House remains unclear, as Speaker John Boehner has voiced his opposition.
'Overwhelming support'
"Just as no one in the United States can lose their job simply because of their race, gender, religion or a disability, no one should ever lose their job simply because of who they are or who they love," Mr Obama wrote in a statement following the Senate's vote.
Mr Obama urged the House of Representatives to pass the bill, saying it had "the overwhelming support of the American people, including a majority of Republican voters, as well as many corporations, small businesses and faith communities".
"One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do," he added, addressing House Republicans.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner opposes the bill, arguing it could lead to lawsuits and hinder job creation.
The legislation bars employers with 15 or more workers from making employment decisions - hiring, firing or compensation - based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill's passage in the Senate comes three years after Congress lifted the ban on gays serving openly in the US military, and months after the US Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
This week, the Illinois legislature passed a bill recognising same-sex marriage. If, as expected, the bill is signed into law, Illinois will become the 15th US state to legalize gay unions.
BBC

November 4, 2013

The Bill To End Workplace Discrimination Passed Critical Test Today


                                               ENDA, via HRC.

Just four months after the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on same-sex marriage, the Senate is set to vote on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act today, a bill which would outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender. Passage of the bill is no sure bet; as of yesterday, the bill was one vote short of the threshold to prevent a Republican filibuster. But, if Tim Cook has anything to do with it, the bill will pass. Apple’s CEO has an op-ed in the WSJ in support of ENDA, saying, “At Apple, we try to make sure people understand that they don’t have to check their identity at the door.”
Breaking!
BBC/UK reported 1 hr ago:


A bill banning workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people has passed a critical test of support in the US Senate, 17 years after a similar bill failed by a single vote.
The Democratic-led Senate voted 61-30 to open debate on the legislation, with several Republicans backing it.
The bill is expected to win final Senate passage as early as this week.
The White House strongly supports the measure, but its future in the Republican-led House remains unclear.
The Senate rejected comparable legislation by one vote in 1996.

Start Quote

Americans ought to be judged by one thing only in their workplaces: their ability to get their jobs done”
Barack ObamaUS President
But on Monday, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or Enda, received bipartisan support and reached the 60-vote threshold necessary to overcome a procedural roadblock set up by Republican opponents.
'Make a difference'
In the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, has voiced opposition to the bill, saying it could lead to lawsuits and hinder job creation.
The proposed legislation bars employers with 15 or more workers from making employment decisions - hiring, firing or compensation - based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
President Barack Obama has publicly voiced his support for the measure, three years after Congress lifted the ban on gays serving openly in the US military, and months after the US Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
"Americans ought to be judged by one thing only in their workplaces: their ability to get their jobs done,'' Mr Obama told the Huffington Post.
"Does it make a difference if the fire-fighter who rescues you is gay, or the accountant who does your taxes or the mechanic who fixes your car?"

November 3, 2013

Unusual bi-partisan Cooperation in Congress for a Gay Law




Gay rights advocates — Republicans and Democrats — are newly upbeat about the prospects for Senate passage of a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The outlook for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — the first test vote is Monday — reflects the nation's growing tolerance of homosexuality and the GOP's political calculation as it looks for supporters beyond its core base of older voters.

"I think society continues to evolve on the issue of gay rights," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a co-sponsor of the measure. "As more and more gay individuals are open about their sexual orientation, people come to realize that they are their neighbors, their family members, their friends, their co-workers. That's made a big difference."

Opinion polls underscore Collins' assessment. A Pew Research survey in June found that more Americans said homosexuality should be accepted rather than discouraged by society by a margin of 60 to 31 percent, or nearly 2-to-1. Opinions were more evenly divided 10 years ago.

In a sign of the times, the anti-bias legislation has traditional proponents such as the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay and lesbian advocacy group, plus the backing of a relatively new group, the American Unity Fund. That organization has the financial support of big-name Republican donors — hedge fund billionaires Paul Singer, Cliff Asness, Dan Loeb and Seth Klarman — and former GOP lawmakers Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Tom Reynolds of New York.

"Most conservatives believe people in the workforce should be judged on their merits," said Jeff Cook-McCormac, a senior adviser to the American Unity Fund, a group that has focused on gay rights initiatives in New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Delaware. "They shouldn't be judged on characteristics that are irrelevant in a productive employee."

Current federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin, but it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire workers solely because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The bill would bar employers with 15 or more workers from using a person's sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, compensation or promotion.

The Senate vote would come five months after Supreme Court rulings affirming gay marriage and granting federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. It would be the first major piece of gay rights legislation since Congress repealed the ban on gays serving openly in the military in December 2010.

Collins said the military's relatively smooth implementation of that law despite dire warnings have made Americans more receptive to the nondiscrimination law.

"People intuitively think that it is unfair to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation," said the senator, who led the fight on gays in the military. "Just as it would be unfair to refuse to hire or fire them based on religion or race or gender. In fact, when I talk to constituents, they're surprised that it's still legal under federal law."

The measure faces strong opposition from established conservative groups such as the Family Research Council, which argues that it carves out special protections for sexual orientation, would lead to expensive lawsuits against employers and could undercut the ability of employers to establish reasonable standards for dress and grooming.

Heritage Action said Friday that the bill would "severely undermine civil liberties ... and trample on religious liberty" while potentially undermining job creation. The conservative organization called for a vote against the bill and said it would record the vote on its legislative scorecard.

It is unclear whether Republican leaders in the House will even bring the bill up for a vote after the Senate acts.

On Monday, the Senate plans a test vote, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has made it clear he expects to get the necessary 60 votes to move ahead on the legislation.

All 55 members of the Senate's Democratic majority are expected to vote "yes" on the test vote, along with four Republicans — Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and the measure's co-sponsors, Illinois' Mark Kirk and Collins. Proponents are optimistic that four other Republicans also will support moving ahead — Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The Senate could complete the bill by week's end.

The evolution and changing views on gay rights are evident in the senators now expressing support.

In September 1996, the Senate narrowly rejected a similar measure on a 50-49 vote. That bill did not include protections for transgender people. Voting against it were Hatch and then-Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski, father of Lisa Murkowski. Subsequent efforts over the next 17 years to secure Senate passage of the bill faltered.

This past July, Hatch, Kirk and Lisa Murkowski backed the bill when the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, led by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, endorsed the measure 15-7.

"I think that this issue is not so much a Democrat-Republican issue, although more Democrats are for it of course, as it is an age issue," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "You'll find a lot of young people who are very conservative are much more pro-gay rights. There are some who would not support marriage but would support anti-discrimination. For those two reasons, I think we have a good chance of it passing."

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have already approved laws banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 17 of those also prohibit employers from discriminating based on gender identity.

About 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies have already adopted nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, according to the Human Rights Campaign. About 57 percent of those companies include gender identity.

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